Court dismisses indictment of youth accused of assaulting Arab

Monday, May 1, 2023, 14:37 The Jerusalem Magistrates Court dismissed the indictment of a Jewish youth (a minor) who had been indicted for assaulting an Arab during the traditional “Circling the Gates” walk around the Old City of Jerusalem approximately two and a half years ago. Honenu Attorney Moshe Poleski, who is representing the youth, examined the investigative material in the case and noted that before the assault attributed to the youth, the Arab was seen disturbing Jewish worshipers praying at the gates to the Temple Mount. Attorney Poleski therefore strongly objected to the indictment and filed a prior application, which was accepted.

In a video clip of the incident, the Arab is seen standing opposite a group of approximately 15 Jewish youths praying near one of the gates to the Temple Mount. He stood for several minutes and repeatedly approached the group in a threatening manner. This preceded any physical contact between them. The Jerusalem Police’s Prosecution Department accepted the claims presented by Attorney Poleski and agreed to withdraw the indictment, subject to the youth’s cooperation with the Youth Probation Service and there not being any additional cases pending against him. At a hearing on Sunday, April 30, the police informed the Jerusalem Magistrates Court that they had withdrawn the indictment, despite distinct evidence of the assault. The court then dismissed the indictment.

After the court’s decision, Honenu Attorney Moshe Poleski stated, “We welcome the dismissal of the indictment, and we are happy that in the end, the Israel Police understood that the incident occurred as a reaction to a provocation by the Arab who disturbed the worshipers’ prayers and also threatened them. Under those circumstances, we reasoned that there were no grounds to put the youth on trial, despite the evidence implicating him in the acts attributed to him, especially because the Arab was not put on trial for his provocative acts. My client is a normative youth who does not have a criminal record. He cooperated with the Youth Probation Service, and no additional cases have been opened against him. Therefore, he should not be put on trial. We are pleased that in the end, the indictment was dismissed, and that even the Jerusalem Police’s Prosecution Department understood that there were insufficient grounds to put the youth on trial.”

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